Presidential youth fitness program implementation: An antecedent to organizational change


Grounded in organizational change theory, the purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of the Presidential Youth Fitness Program (PYFP) and its association with healthy cultures within schools.


Using a qualitative approach, data were collected through interviews, site visits and artifacts across 374 schools. An explanatory collective case study approach was used to identify key events related to implementation.


Pivotal antecedents to organizational change included prolonged, continual PD, direct support of PYFP implementation, and recognition. Further, three key themes of leveling of the playing field, strategically overcoming barriers, and recruiting teacher fitness champions were identified.


Creating a healthy school culture was an unexpected, but feasible outcome stemming from the implementation of the PYFP. A collective effort, led by physical education teachers and fitness champions and embraced by the administration, faculty, and community, is necessary for the school culture to unfreeze from its present status.

Barcelona JM, Castelli DM, Duncan Cance J, Pitt Barnes S, Lee S. Presidential youth fitness program implementation: An antecedent to organizational change. Eval Program Plann. 2021 Feb 10;86:101919. doi: 10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2021.101919. Online ahead of print. PMID: 33601248